A travel related question “Dear Abby” caught my attention and I think it deserves further discussion.
Travel Tip: Don’t be fooled by the selfish travel guy
Here is the letter:
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend is 60 and has an autoimmune disease. It depends on oxygen and suffers a lot. He can drive, walk and take care of himself, although I help him a little with his care.
I was invited to take my daughter and sisters to London next month for a week. He doesn’t want me to leave and doesn’t say why, except that he’s upset that he can’t go abroad. (He would never want to go with a girl to London.) What he actually told me was, “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t go.” I replied: “If you really loved ME, you would be happy if I went with my family and enjoyed the trip for a week.”
I cook and clean for him every day. I am the breadwinner and pay for everything. I treat him like a king. What should I do? – SUCH A JOURNEY
Before we look at Abby’s answer, let me give you my answer.
Dear YEARNING FOR TRAVEL,
Time to give your boyfriend an ultimatum. His selfishness is shown not only in his actions, but also in his inability to formulate why you should not go to London. He’s obviously jealous of you, and jealousy never looks good in a relationship. If he really loved you, he would never say, “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t go.”
And let’s be realistic: even if he wanted to leave, he would probably be a burden on all of you. If you cook and clean for him every day – and pay his bills – what will he bring to the table? Because it seems like he’s not even that kind to you when he expresses his frustration and puts the blame on you when you have the opportunity to do something good.
Don’t sacrifice this opportunity to create priceless family memories while dragging the third rail. In fact, I would just toss it. The “king” behaves like a spoiled prince.
How did the real Abby respond?
DEAR YEARNING: You do a lot for your boyfriend. He is trying to get you not to go. With the load you’ve been carrying, you deserve a break. Make sure that his friend or family member can look after him in your absence. Then ignore his comments and go on a journey. Please!
Thank you! I agree, although it would be sharper to make it clear that such feelings are simply unacceptable in a relationship.
I grew up reading an Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer) column in my own newspaper, who was actually the identical twitter sister of Abigail Van Buren (Paulyn Phillips). I also laughed as I grew up listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a radio host who also gave practical relationship advice. Here, I hope we can all agree that the boyfriend is acting selfishly and that while each situation may depend on the context, having a controlling partner blocking a trip out of jealousy never looks good.